Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Technology (Tech) Tuesday: Wireless Streaming

It is amazing how a week can fly by. I missed posting my lesson plans for the week. Sorry about that. I thought of posting them today BUT I have been wanting to post about my Apple Tv and iPad mini set up for weeks!

This year I have been so lucky. My schools Technology Integrationist came to me and asked if I would be willing to pilot a wireless streaming system in my classroom. At first I was really very excited. Then I realized I would have to give up my trusty Doc Cam and panicked just a little bit. I mean how would I project all the work my kids do and demonstrate for my ELL kids?

This is what my set up used to look like.
I really did rely on my doc cam to demonstrate a lot. However, it was't always my best friend. Sometimes I struggled to get the whole image on the screen. Also adjusting the camera arm was never fun, or quick. BUT, it worked and I loved it.

Then came the day this baby came into my room. The whole set up includes an HD projector,  iPad mini, Apple TV and stand. At first this huge stand was a bit of an eyesore to me. It was big and clunky and I felt would dominate my table. I stayed open to the possibilities because I REALLY wanted the iPad mini in my room. The most expensive piece was the HD projector.
It was my first experience with an Apple tv. To be honest I had no clue what they did before I got one. Now though I LOVE it.
 What is the difference?
So here is the big deal I can basically stream anything, my iPad mini, my computer, even my iPhone wirelessly.
I can use the iPad camera to show images like before. PLUS now I can use all my educational apps too! Also I can capture video of my demonstrations and play them back for the students who are visual learners and need to see something more than once.

Please excuse the mess, the picture doesn't translate well on camera because of the glare, but as you can see we were working on a letter Bb crown. Side note... can you all see how many other blogger products I currently have up in my room!?! 
This is just the simple projection using the camera app.
It is hard to keep those little fingers out from under the camera. It is so tempting.

My favorite part is taking the pad, launching an app and passing it around the room having students work on the device independently. Here they are practicing their names.

 They were so excited that day. they took turns, and were polite to one another. One of the rules is, if you are not kind, or careful with the iPad, you don't get to use it for the day. So they really do take care to not lose that privilege.

I have to admit one of my favorite things to do is take a picture of the assignment and draw or write directly on the ipad. It saves me extra copies and I am able to take pictures of each stage of the assignment. When I have to go back to show an example I have it right there in my cameral roll.

All of this is possible because of the Apple TV
I know the iPad mini gets most of the glory BUT, were it not for the Apple TV I could not stream wirelessly. I love plugging my laptop in at my table in the back of the room, but still being able to stream educational You Tube videos across the room. 

This is what the interface looks like.
You could use the apps and what not but I basically just hit Air Play on my device.
We have multiple Apple tv's in my school so I have to choose my classrooms device.
I turn on mirroring and type in a access code. Then I am in!

As for that big arm stand... it turns out that it is pretty cool too. It is not a clunky as I thought it would be. It has several adjustable, fixed positions, but is pretty versatile. It also has a USB and outlet plug on the stand itself so I can charge the devices while using it.

I am pretty happy with it, and so are the other teachers I work with that are also piloting the Apple TV. If you get the chance to try it I highly recommend it. Feel free to ask any question you may have. I also plan to come back and talk about several other things I do with it.


  1. This is great. I'm a little jealous of you HD projector. I've got an older projector so I use a hdmi to via converter and it works like a charm. I love house easy it is to project the iPads and then switch them around too. The kids love showing off their work. Very nice.

    Digital: Divide & Conquer

    1. Nice solution! I don't know if anyone here thought of that. Ha ha. I loved my other projector it was so small and compact. This one takes up more room but it has wonderful speakers.

      I agree the kids love showing their work. :)

  2. I LOVE my AppleTV. I hear ya on the document camera. I'm not sure I could give that up yet, although a charging port would be nice..... :)

    1. The charging port is a very nice thing. Saves me a tangle of cords. Feel free to poke around my set up any time you'd like. I never remember if you have the same set up in your room or if it is just JC.


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